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Northumberland County Woman Perishes in Blaze

Northumberland County Woman Perishes in Blaze - Friday, October 17, 2008 at 5:05PM EST

Reported by: Jeremy Deebel
Friday, Oct 17, 2008 @ 05:05pm EST
Point Township, Northumberland County-

Investigators have released the name of a Northumberland County woman killed in an early morning fire. It happened on Ridge Road in Point Township.

Authorities say it's a tragedy that might have been prevented.

Point Township Assistant Fire Chief Ross Blain said, "When I arrived on scene I had heavy fire shooting out of the front of the home. The whole front porch was involved and fire was leaping up over the front porch and into the second floor."

That's how fire officials are describing the blaze that killed 22-year-old Heather Bailets Friday morning. Efforts to pull Bailets from the burning home were unsuccessful.

Blain noted, "We tried to make entry into the back due to the front was fully involved. Initial crews only made it in several feet and were pushed out by the heat and heavy smoke."

Not much is left of the two-story wood frame home. A passing trucker called 9-1-1 to report the blaze.

The heat from the fire even melted the paneling on the victim's car, which was about 25 feet from the home. Investigators say the found the woman's dog locked in the car.

They believe she may have initially escaped from the home, before attempting to go back to retrieve something.

Blain explained, "Anytime you get into a situation where you can get out of the house, you stay out of the house. Go to a neighbor. If you have a cell phone, use your cell phone to call 9-1-1. But don't ever attempt to go back into the home for anything."

Fire investigators were unable to locate any smoke detectors in the house. They say the fire is not suspicious.

They're focusing on the kitchen, but say they can't tell exactly how the fire started, due to the extensive damage.

Officials tell us they believe the home belonged to Heather Bailets' great grandparents.

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